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Waive goodbye to your old team, wave hello to Vegas?

What is all this talk of waiving no-movement clauses?

2017 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Six Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

The deadline for teams to ask players with no-movement clauses in their contracts for the expansion draft is today at 5 p.m. Eastern time.

Under the rules of the expansion draft, any player with an active NMC must be protected by the team. This uses up a protection slot. Players can waive the NMC for the expansion draft if they want to, which saves their team the trouble of protecting them.

Let’s have a refresher on how these clauses work. They are not part of the CBA, rather they are standard clauses written into the SPC that restrict the team’s rights to trade or demote a player to the minors. These clauses can only take effect in the years a player is of the age to be an unrestricted free agent.

No-Trade clauses

These are the lighter-weight clauses, and just a NTC does not get a player protected from the expansion draft. This type of clause does not prevent being placed on waivers or being sent to the AHL. CapFriendly does a great job, as always, of explaining this sort of thing.

* The player's contract includes specific terms in respect to being traded without their consent where the player must:

In a specified timeframe or window:

Specify a pre-determined number of teams the player would be willing to be traded to, or:

Specify a pre-determined number of teams the player would not be willing to be traded to

* The clause can travel with the player even if he consents to being traded or is claimed on waivers

This requires that the acquiring team sign an addendum to the contract ensuring that the clause does in fact travel with the player (written by the player's agent)

If the acquiring team refuses to sign the addendum, and the player waives his clause anyway, at that point the clause may be nullified

* If the player is traded before the clause takes effect, the acquiring team can opt to void the clause

So this is the kind of clause where the player submits a list of teams he will or won’t accept trades to, depending on how it is worded.

No-Movement clauses

NMCs are the tougher version that restrict a team from everything short of a buyout.

* Player cannot be traded without his consent (however, the clause can specify a modified no-trade clause that limits the NTC to a certain number of teams)

* Player cannot be placed on waivers without his consent

* Player cannot be assigned to the minors without his consent

* Player is not exempt from a buyout or contract termination

* The clause can travel with the player even if he consents to being traded or is claimed on waivers

This requires that the acquiring team sign an addendum to the contract ensuring that the clause does in fact travel with the player (written by the player's agent)

If the acquiring team refuses to sign the addendum, and the player waives his clause anyway, at that point the clause may be nullified

* If the player is traded before the clause takes effect, the acquiring team can opt to void the clause

Expansion Draft rules

As mentioned, a player with an NMC is protected unless he waives it. And today is the deadline to ask him to do that. Players have until Friday, June 16 at 5 p.m. to decline or accept the request.

What happens if a player does waive the clause is a bit obscure. Several reports from experts on this topic like Pierre LeBrun use very careful language like “waiving for the purposes of the expansion draft”. But is that clause in force for Vegas or not? Ordinarily the acquiring team in a trade gets to decide if they will honour the clause or not before a player agrees or not to waive it, but that’s not how this waiver works.

On the surface, it seems like waiving for the expansion draft is a single-use waiver, and the contract remains unchanged. If that is the case, Vegas might not show any interest in such players since they can’t easily flip them to new teams.

There are a lot of rumours around who is to be asked or not asked to waive. Dion Phaneuf’s name comes up a lot.

At his season-ending media conference, Ottawa GM Pierre Dorion said the Senators “would discuss internally” the possibility of asking Dion Phaneuf to waive his no-move, adding, “If ever we were to go that direction, I think I should let Dion know first.”

Dorion isn’t commenting, but word is Phaneuf was indeed asked to waive. That would allow Ottawa to protect Cody Ceci, Erik Karlsson and Marc Methot. I think the Senators have been asked a lot about Ceci over the past year, but they wisely held on. We’ll see what Phaneuf decides. I think Ottawa is sensitive to this one, because they feel Phaneuf has been a terrific teammate since he got there.

Marc-André Fleury is an interesting case. He might want to waive his NMC to get out of Pittsburgh and get a starter’s job. But he might not want to go to Vegas. If Vegas is going to flip him, and he can maintain some control either via that clause or his NTC, he may accept it. (Edited to add: see above tweet that seems to confirm all of this.)

Expect lots of rumours around this issue in the next few days. As for the Leafs, it’s not an issue of concern as Nathan Horton is the only player with an NMC, and he's not eligible for the expansion draft due to his long-term injuries.

Check out the expansion draft rules post for a rundown of the deadlines aver the next few days for all the expansion draft machinations.